Curried parsnip and green apple soup with cilantro oil

I have been making this soup for years and it is always a hit with my friends. It is a great soup for this summer that we may just have. You can have it hot or cold. I use water here and not broth because I want to keep the flavors of the main ingredients distinct. Replace the cilantro oil with chili oil for an extra kick.


1 pound parsnips, cut into chunks (reserve a few pieces for garnish)
3 green apples, peeled and cored (reserve one quarter of an apple for garnish)
1 leek, white part only, grossly chopped
1/2 inch ginger, chopped
1 1/2 tsp mild or medium curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste
water, just enough to cover
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 dollop of crème fraîche for garnish (optional)
cilantro oil for garnish (recipe follows)


1. Put all the ingredients except the cream in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until everything is soft.
2. Turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. Prepare the garnish during that time. Cook the reserved parsnip (cut into a julienne) in a bit of butter. Add a couple of pinches of curry powder. When cool, mix with the raw apple and set aside.
4. Purée the soup in a blender until smooth then pass it through a fine sieve if you wish and return to the pot. Add the cream and heat through.
5. Top with crème fraîche, parsnip and apple mixture and cilantro oil.

Cilantro oil

You can use this technique with any fresh herb.

2 cups tightly packed cilantro leaves
1 cup neutral tasting oil

Put the cilantro and oil in a blender and purée for one or two minutes. Put the mix in a saucepan on medium heat and wait until it starts to boil. Cook for about one minute and pass through a fine sieve. Pass again through a coffee filter or through a sieve lined with a paper towel. Place in an airtight container. It will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. Drizzle some of this oil on my Indian-style scrambled eggs.

Categories: Soups, Vegetarian

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6 replies »

  1. I will definitely have to try this one–I love every ingredient in it, and the combination sounds absolutely fantastic. And the oil would presumably be perfect for use with any number of Thai, Indian, Mexican and other foods as well. Thanks! I’m sending the link to my vegetarian sister too. :)


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